The Couillard government “goes on the offensive” – in the words of the Prime Minister – in order to promote the preservation of Quebec headquarters and decision-making centers.
One of the measures he announced on Tuesday was immediately denounced by the official opposition. It finds it inappropriate to “harmonize the taxation of stock options with the rest of Canada”, whereas 65-year-olds will now have to wait until they are 66 or 67 years old to receive their ” Age tax “, which can be as high as $ 500 per year.
The government is helping the “ultra-rich”, while it engages in “small petty calculations” with the elderly, deplored the leader of the Parti Quebecois, Jean-Francois Lisee.
The lowering of the tax rate on stock options was decided in order to “encourage business leaders to stay in or come to Quebec.” At present, too many executives file their income tax returns in Ontario rather than Quebec, which is a net loss, justified Finance Minister Carlos Leitao and Prime Minister Philippe Couillard.
The plan “for Quebec’s economy to be more of an economy of leaders” that they have presented will never prevent one or more managers from selling their business, whether it is a “jewel” or not, to foreign interests, They agreed. This is not the goal.
However, its implementation will reduce the risk of this happening, they believe.
The Government of Quebec did not wait for the presentation of the 2017-2018 budget, scheduled for the end of March, to disclose the financial, tax and regulatory resources put forward to accompany this plan.
Prime Minister Philippe Couillard himself introduced them, a sign of the importance that the government wants to give. If his government did not wait for the budget, it was because he wanted to “pay attention to this issue” and not to be drowned in the overall budget message, he said .
For some years now, but particularly for a year, the issue of maintaining headquarters in Quebec has become a hot topic. Rona and Saint-Hubert defended the political and economic chronicle.
“We are going on the offensive to accelerate the growth of our businesses and to ensure the presence and maintenance of decision-making centers in Quebec,” said the Prime Minister.
Accompanied by the Minister of Finance, Carlos Leitao, and his colleague in charge of Economy, Dominique Anglade, Mr. Couillard declined the following measures:
• Creation of the Financial Initiative Group. It will “better equip the government to act strategically in order to support our major companies and encourage the emergence of new companies,” the 116-page plan states.
• Strengthening of “strategic intelligence on the presence of head offices”.
More concretely, let us note again:
• Tax relief for the transfer of family businesses to all sectors of the economy. This, in order to facilitate transfers of companies “to the next generation”, it is explained.
• Deferral of payment of tax on a sale of shares of a listed company. This is argued in order to avoid the loss of control or the sale of Quebec businesses to foreign interests because of the tax payable.
The Prime Minister had a central message to deliver by presenting these measures. Quebec entrepreneurs “are conquerors, not the other way around,” he said. Our economy is not besieged, on the contrary. ”
Between 2001 and 2016, 502 acquisitions of foreign companies were made by Quebec companies. The sales of Quebec companies to foreign interests amounted to 244. Since 2010, this ratio is three to one in favor of Quebec, noted Mr. Couillard with satisfaction.
With such a plan, Quebec remains for sale, launched the Pequiste Jean-Francois Lisee.
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business welcomed the new government measures. “It is important to have measures that preserve and reinforce the dynamism and the ability to generate florets. The measures announced by the Prime Minister go in this direction, “she said.